Darren Kerr says Dalbeattie Star are gearing up for their biggest game of the season against Whitehill Welfare on Saturday as they look to put further distance between themselves and the Midlothian outfit in the battle at the bottom of the Lowland League.
The Star go into the clash with a six-point lead over their opponents, two games in hand and a morale-boosting win against Edinburgh University a couple of weeks ago.
They also have an extra incentive in proving that the 3-0 defeat to the Rosewell side earlier in the season was an anomaly – which Kerr described then as the worst display of his tenure.
He told the Gazette: “We are coming in off the back of a good win. That was huge and it has given us some momentum heading into what I think is probably our biggest game of the season. We want go out and prove that the Whitehill game was a one-off as we lost comfortably that day. We will try to play on the front foot and we won’t be holding back.”
A victory at the Islecroft tomorrow would also reel in some of the teams above them including Stirling University, East Stirlingshire and Gretna.
Kerr said: “We want to widen the gap away from the bottom but also keep pace with the pack just above and bring others into the relegation battle. Stirling University are close and Gretna had a great win against Edusport and we play them on January 4.
“It’s going to be tough and there a few teams in danger of being brought back into it. You do not want to be in that situation come the end of the season.
“A lot can happen between now and then and that’s why it’s important to pick up points.
“The festive period is huge and it’s going to be a tough three or four weeks we have got the leaders East Kilbride coming up next Saturday. The next few weeks could have a big impact in final standings.”
Kerr says the club started positively but match postponements and cancellations have hindered his side’s progress.
The 31-year-old said: “We started the season brightly with a few good performances but it has been a bit stop start and it has been difficult to keep the players motivated over the past couple of months.
“It’s been a tough season we probably are not where we want to be but we are still punching above our weight in terms of budget.
“The season has been a bit stop start I think in the last six or seven weeks we have played a couple of games. It will be good to get a run of games and kick on.”